Red Stripe Wolverines resurgent in premier league

Wolverines Agueda Blake stops Maples Jaguar Kayla Marshall. (Story & images by CIFFA)

Cayman’s infamous August heat was no match for the latest round of Cayman Islands Flag Football Association matches at the Ed Bush Playing Field on Saturday, 12 August, as the premier league saw some amazing action from competing teams. Among the standout teams was Red Stripe Wolverines, with the veteran side earning back-to-back victories.

 

Greenhouse Lynx vs Tribe Tattoo Lady Sharks

The first game of the day between The Greenhouse Lynx and the Tribe Tattoo Lady Sharks was a display of strong defense from start to finish. Both teams managed to hold each other from scoring despite best efforts throughout the first half with notable stops by Lady Sharks’ Courtisha Ebanks. The Greenhouse Lynx’s Lexi Walton and Bernadette Beckles also executed good tackles for their team.

The defensive intensity was maintained in the second half by Lady Sharks’ rusher Tiffany Ebanks who was able to stop the Lynx offense on multiple occasions. However, Lynx quarterback Erica Bosch was able to hand the ball to running back Camille Solomon for a 40-yard gain just shy of the goal line in the final ten minutes of the game. Bosch then found Denicia Cranston twice, the first for Cranston’s first touchdown of the 2017 season and the second time for a one-point conversion.

With only two minutes left in the game, the Lady Sharks were able to retaliate with one touchdown thanks to Courtisha Ebanks switching from quarterback to receiver. The Lynx defense, with notable deflections by Denicia Cranston, Bernadette Beckles and Yazmin James, was able to stop the one-point conversion to win the game 7-6.

 

MaplesFS Knights vs Kensington Hellcats

The MaplesFS Knights and Kensington Hellcats match-up began with Hellcats defensive rusher Michael Swaby sacking MaplesFS Knights quarterback Kevin Solomon almost immediately after the first whistle of the game. The Knights attempted made the first major gain of the game but was thwarted by Hellcats’ Swaby bursting the offensive line to sack his quarterback once again.

The Hellcats begin their third offensive drive with a handoff to Hellcats #12 that was quickly supplemented by a touchdown by teammate Nigel Solomon. The veteran team’s effort was rounded out by a field goal from Hellcats Nick Bush. While the MaplesFS Knights were not able to score in the first half, Seware Kangulu ensured that the Hellcats would not score again by sacking their quarterback Will Peguero.

The Kensington Hellcats kept their momentum throughout the second half with Perry Levy receiving and running the ball in for a touchdown, followed by another successful field goal by Hellcats Nick Bush. Defensively, Michael Swaby earned another two sacks, hindering the Knights from advancing the ball during their offensive series. Once the ball was turned over, Nigel Solomon was able to earn another touchdown. The MaplesFS Knights refused to allow the game to end without them being on the board and Seware Kangalu, this time on offense, was able to command respect for his team by scoring a touchdown. The game ended with a score of 21-6.

 

 

 

HSM Vipers vs Subway Lady Predators

The Lady Predators’ defense set the tone for the first half with an interception by Dianira Whittaker early in the game. With the ball back in the Lady Predators’ hands, Jordyn Williams was able to run the ball for a major gain but was stopped by Vipers’ Jen Choice before she could score. HSM regained control of the ball but Lady Predators’ Angelica McField was able to sack quarterback Jessica Pawlik twice. Due to strong defensive execution from both teams, neither made it past the goal line, ending the half with a score of 0-0.

The HSM offense changed their approach in the second half directing multiple balls to Schmarrah McCarthy, whose height, strength and speed make her a formidable tight end. McCarthy earned multiple first downs until she was eventually able to score the first touchdown of the game. The 2016 women’s champions maintained their stride for the rest of the game with another touchdown shortly after by Shenel Gall. The Subway Lady Predators offense attempted to equalize the score multiple times but was not able to put points on the board in their favour. Keeping the theme of strong defense that ran through the day, Vipers’ Tanjana Campbell was able to intercept and score to end the game at 18-0 and keep their undefeated record intact.

 

Red Stripe Wolverines vs Maples Jaguars

With both teams equally thirsty to win, defense, once again, was the focal point of this game beginning with an interception by Martina Bodden of the Wolverines on the Jaguars’ ball.

However, the Wolverines’ offense was unable to score with stops by Jaguars defense, most notably by rookies Khadijah Chisholm and Cyanna Martinez. Once in command of the ball, Jaguars’ Coulson was able to find Kayla Marshall for a long catch that brought her team to the goal line. It was Agueda Blake who was there to ensure that no one would score against Wolverines, ending the first half 0 – 0.

The second half opened with a series of strong runs by Agueda Blake to get the Wolverines’ offense down the field. Jaguars’ Krista Samuels, Somali Hall and Cyanna Martinez were able to prevent touchdowns with key tackles. The Wolverines went on to do the same with major deflections by Shinette Rhoden, resulting in the game being sent into overtime. After multiple attempts, Petulia Hayles of the Wolverines was able to score and win the game 6 – 0.

 

Island Heritage Predators vs Burger King Panthers

As the sun set, the 2016 men’s champions Island Heritage Predators and the currently undefeated Burger King Panthers met for the third time since the season began for a highly anticipated game. With equal vigour to win, defense again controlled the first half, with neither of the teams allowing a touchdown to be scored against them. The Panthers looked to Taj Haye who ran for a gain but was stopped by Predators’ Trevor Coleman. Fan favourites Jordan Cacho and John Pump also ran for impressive gains but it was #10 Panthers who would score in the second half, followed by a field goal by John Pump to earn the Panthers another win with a score of 7- 0.

 

Monday Night Football

The Burger King Panthers were at the Annex field on Monday 14 August to meet with Maples under the Monday night lights. The first half of the game began with Maples handing Fabio Gall running for a first down. Despite Gall’s speed, the Panthers were able to prevent him from advancing into their half. The Panthers regained the ball to send both Jordan Cacho and Jahmi Dunbar to run for gains, followed by a first down catch by John Pump. While Maples did not advance offensively during their series, rusher Daniel Canencia sacked Panthers quarterback for a loss of yards. The half ended with a score of 0-0. 

Panthers had possession of the ball in the second half and were soon able to make it to the goal line with help from John Pump and Jordan Cacho. However, Maples’ defense did their best to stop the undefeated team from scoring with key deflections by Dimitri Chambers and Dexter Beckford. It was not until the fourth down of their offensive series that the Panthers were able to successfully get the ball to John Pump to score the night’s first touchdown. With limited time left, Maples attempted to score but Chris Bennett of Panthers was able to pick the ball off for an interception. The game ended 12-0 in favour of Panthers.

The Tribe Tattoo Lady Sharks took on the Red Stripe Wolverines afterward for the final game of the night. The Wolverines appeared to be focused on offense and moved the ball downfield quickly in the first half, leading to Agueda Blake sprinting across the goal line to score six points for her team. The Wolverines attempted to earn an extra point but Lady Sharks rusher Tiffany Ebanks was able to sack the quarterback to make a stop. While the Lady Sharks did not score in the first half, notable completions were made by Krystle Barrett to advance the ball.

The Wolverines sought out another touchdown with a 60-yard pass to Tajae Grey that led them back to the goal line but Lady Sharks’ defensive powerhouses Bianca Hunt and Judy Rivers ensured that they did not score again. Once the ball was turned over, the Wolverines were able to efficiently keep the Lady Sharks from scoring.

Despite some challenges in the beginning of the season, the Red Stripe Wolverines seem to have hit their stride with seamless executions on both offense and defense reminiscent of their 2015 championship season. As playoffs approach, they will definitely be a team to watch closely.
Games continue for week 9 at the Ed Bush Sports Complex in West Bay starting at 2:30 p.m.

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